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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Route 30 and the Columbia River Gorge

One part of the Portland trip I’d been looking forward to for weeks beforehand was the drive on Route 30. Coincident with the path carved out by the Columbia River Gorge, route 30 is one of the most amazing driving roads I’ve ever toured. My faithful steed was a 2010 Mustang, which is to say faithful but not much of a steed. I would love to drive this route in a good car. If you like driving, you owe it to yourself to drive this road.

Along the way there are numerous spectacular waterfalls, often no more than a few hundred feet of walking from the road. Of particular fame (and busyness) is the Multnomah falls, but there are at least half a dozen spectacular scenes. The water spray was brutal and I spent a lot of time with hazed or soaked filters, but managed to get a few shots off before things got too wet. I did manage to drop a B+W 1000x ND filter in a river, which was a bit of a loss, though it’s better than dropping my keys, camera, or phone.

Wine Country

A quick drive out of Portland gets one into the Williamette valley, home of numerous fantastic wineries and some of the best Pinot Noir on earth. We tasted at Archery Summit, Winderlea, Ponzi, and Argyle, and ended up shipping some things back from all of them. The Dolcetto from Ponzi was the most interesting, if a not particularly expensive, wine; in an area famed for its Pinot Noirs, it’s a slightly off-dry red with some body, ready to be consumed now. Not what I would drink regularly, but definitely a bit off the beaten path. The least impressive Pinots came from Argyle, though their Nuthouse wasn’t bad. Their sparklers were generally unimpressive to me, despite their fame at the genre. That is, until I tried the 2000 Extended Tirage, a WS95 beast of a thing that is probably one of the nicest sparkling wines I’ve had. Worlds better than anything else Argyle makes; you owe it to yourself to try this if you’re int he area. Archery Summit had a very nice tasting facility, and I found the Arcus to be a pretty impressive wine.

Of particular note outside of the wine, the Dundee Bistro was a nice treat, recommended to us at Archery Summit; their white truffle oil french fries were oustanding, and the rest of the food was good as well.